13 Of The Most Powerful Women In The Weed Industry (2022 Update)

by greenrush
Purple background woman weed cannabis leaves

Who runs the world? Girls! Who runs the weed industry? Women! There is no shortage of bad-ass babes and women owned cannabis brands in the cannabis community (especially those women who smoke weed). 

From lawmakers to growers, and entrepreneurs to innovators, women and the marijuana industry go hand-in-hand. The industry is teeming with powerful, smart, and influential weed women who are helping to change the course of history. 

Here are 10 of our favorite powerful weed women and five of our favorite women owned cannabis brands.

A Brief History of Woman in Cannabis

Women have been relying on cannabis to preserve their wellness and manage their pain for centuries.

While not all women have a uterus, cannabis has been especially helpful for those who do. Researchers are exploring cannabinoids for various conditions like anxiety, depression, and various forms of physical pain. So it may not be a surprise to hear that cannabis has been a balm for many people with a uterus during menstrual and other reproductive conditions.

Specifically, there are hints that cannabis may help relieve period pain, manage heavy periods, tame endometriosis, and ease the symptoms associated with menopause. No wonder so many folks with a uterus find cannabis to be their right-hand woman.

1. Barbara Lee

weed industry

Representing California, Barbara Lee has been a progressive Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1998. Along with fellow California representative Ro Khanna, Lee introduced a bill to the House in 2018 that would legalize marijuana on a federal level. 

Pushing for legalization on the federal level will improve the livelihood of everyone in the weed industry, and Lee helps to forge this possibility into a reality. 

Then, in 2020, she championed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which passed, decriminalizing cannabis and funding communities in need.

2. Jane West

weed industry

One of our favorite women in cannabis is activist, entrepreneur, and all-around rad lady, Jane West. Her eponymous company specializes in smoking accessories designed by women, for women.

Additionally, West founded WomenGrow, a networking site for women in the weed industry.  She also launched an equity crowdfunding campaign aspect of the company with a goal of just over $1 million dollars.

Investors can buy into West’s cannabis company for as little as $100—a great way for just about anyone to get in on the ground floor of the cannabusiness.

3. Susan Cleverdon & Gillian Levy

Susan Cleverdon and Gillian Levy are the Humboldt Apothecary. This is a powerful duo, operating a cannabusiness located in the heart of Humboldt County in California, a region known for redwoods and cannabis. These two badass ladies founded the shop, which boasts 35 years of herbalism smarts. 

This environmentally conscious brand also supports important causes such as the Last Prisoner Project, BLM, the NAACP, and Humboldt Baykeeper.

4. Renee Gagnon

weed industry

Renee Gagnon breaks down barriers wherever she goes. She’s the first transgender CEO (and first female CEO) of a publicly traded cannabis company, and Gagnon uses her unique position to make the weed industry an inclusive space for everyone. 

Gagnon’s company (Thunderbird Biomedical IV, now called Emerald) was the fifth federally sanctioned marijuana business in Canada, and now she’s focusing on supply distribution in the United States—and bringing more women into cannabusiness.

5. Dr. Lakisha Jenkins

weed industry

If it’s accomplishments you want, Dr. Lakisha Jones has them: doctor of naturopathy, member of the American Herbalist Guild, and one of the founders of the California Cannabis Industry Association. 

Jenkins helped write the California laws that govern cannabis legalization, and did it all in honor of her daughter, Kiona, who passed away from cancer in 2012. She also uses her position and knowledge to elevate other women and people of color in the cannabis industry.

6. Julia Jacobson

If you’re looking for craft cannabis that’s grown on a sustainable property in NorCal, Julia Jacobson, co-founder of Aster Farms has you covered. Three generations of cannabis experts are the brains behind the operation, which was officially founded in 2018.

Aster Farms is also committed to providing folks with the best, cleanest cannabis possible, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal use. They also prioritize inclusion and social justice in their practices.

7. Kate Brown

weed industry

Perhaps the Governor of Oregon should change her last name to another color? Kate Brown has leveraged her position to help the legal weed industry succeed in her state. 

Not only does Brown sign laws to support and regulate both medical and recreational sales, the Democrat also aims to protect the industry from pesky federal interference.

8. Rachel K. Gillette

weed industry

Rife with ever-changing local and outdated federal laws, the weed industry demands the assistance of compassionate and skilled lawyers. That’s where Rachel K. Gillette, a Denver-based attorney, comes in. 

Gillette founded a law firm specializing in marijuana before becoming a shareholder in Greenspoon Marder, a national law firm able to serve the ever-growing cannabis industry.

9. Stephanie Hua

On the hunt for delicious, gourmet, low-dose edibles to mellow you out? That’s exactly what you will find at Mellows. A cannabis edibles company founded by professional chef, food photographer, and writer, Stephanie Hua.

Hua’s goal is to create the finest cannabis-infused confections that are sure to delight your palate. Each one contains 5 mg of cannabis, so you can enjoy the mellow buzz or consume as many as you want for a more intense buzz. 

10. Jessica Peters

weed industry

Jessica Peters holds the title of president of Moxie Meds, a CBD-focused company that specializes in women’s health needs. From period cramps to PTSD, Peters leads the way with tinctures and treats that address women-focused physical and mental ailments. 

Peters believes women are natural healers and that their continued involvement in the weed industry will benefit everyone.

11. Mary Jane Gibson

weed industry

Mary Jane “Yes That Is Her Real Name” Gibson was the lifestyle, entertainment, and culture editor at High Times, the seminal cannabis publication. Gibson brought the entertainment, reviews, and lifestyle sections to life, and she helped to open the magazine’s West Coast office. 

Gibson is still an outspoken advocate of women showing up in the weed industry, and travels the globe with an eye on changing cannabis legalization trends. You can catch Gibson on Weed+Grub, a cannabis podcast, and read her work in a variety of industry outlets.

12. Ophelia Chong

weed industry

Not all weed is created equal, and Ophelia Chong knew that when she founded StockPotImages. This stock image company serves the cannabis community with high-quality images instead of a photo of some generic bud. 

Chong’s inspiration came from her sister, who uses cannabis to help treat an incurable illness. Chong is also a cannabis user herself and believes that we should all have cannabis plants of our own.

Chong went on to found Asian Americans for Cannabis Education, a non-profit that seeks to empower Asian Americans in cannabis.

13. Dr. Amanda Reiman

weed industry

Scientist, researcher, advocate: Dr. Amanda Reiman’s contributions to the weed industry are multifaceted. Due to its notoriously precarious legal status with the federal government, cannabis research has not been fully utilized. 

With more and more states allocating funds to researching the medicinal impacts of cannabis, research is at an all-time high (no pun intended). Reiman’s work with the Drug Policy Alliance helps guide cannabis research initiatives across the country.

Women Owned Cannabis Brands to the Front

March is the perfect time to support women owned cannabis brands like Humboldt Apothecary and Mellows. That way, you can feel good about your marijuana purchases, as they’re empowering the female trailblazers in the cannabis industry.